AOS Sound of Music programme Spring 2015


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Show programme for AOS production of The Sound of Music

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Abingdon Operatic Society Monday 13 April – Saturday 18 April 2015 – 7:30pm Matinee Performance Saturday 18 April – 2:30pm Amey Theatre Abingdon School OX14 1DE


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Captain von Trapp and Maria with all their talented children, ‘Roses’ and ‘Raindrops’


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Abingdon Operatic Society PRESENTS THE SOUND OF MUSIC Music by RICHARD RODGERS Lyrics by OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN II Book by HOWARD LINDSAY & RUSSEL CROUSE Suggested by ‘The Trapp Family Singers’ by Maria Augusta Trapp An amateur production by arrangement with R&H Theatricals Europe Director - Katie Nye Musical Director - John Nye Choreographer - Tara Hunter THERE WILL BE AN INTERVAL OF TWENTY MINUTES BETWEEN THE ACTS PLEASE ENSURE THAT ALL MOBILE PHONES ARE SWITCHED OFF The use of all cameras, video and audio equipment is prohibited PLEASE NOTE THAT SMOKING IS NOT ALLOWED ANYWHERE ON ABINGDON SCHOOL PREMISES, INCLUDING ALL OUTSIDE AREAS For lost property enquiries please call 01235 526106 Refreshments are available in the foyer conservatory If you would like to become a member of AOS, please contact the Membership Secretary by emailing:


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Message from the Chairman ~ John Nye very warm welcome to our first production of 2015. The Sound of Music is universally popular and has achieved acclaim and affection on an unprecedented scale. It is a great pleasure to welcome back Katie Nye, our director, who last directed the company in My Fair Lady and has appeared on stage in the interim. We also welcome, making her debut in this respect, our choreographer, Tara Hunter. The children have graced our rehearsals with their charm and talent as they will grace the stage tonight. They are the very finest of a large number of immensely talented children who gave outstanding auditions, and we welcome them most warmly. Whilst the musical and the film have their differences, the silver screen brought The Sound of Music to a huge audience who would never have seen it otherwise. The pillars on which both have achieved such popularity are the roots of the plot in reality, and the wonderful songs of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. The triumph of devotion, love, music and the innocence of children over the influence of an evil tyranny offers as much hope in today’s world as it did half a century ago. The songs are quite simply, The Sound of Music. In the next twelve months, we look forward to bringing to Abingdon audiences two very different but immensely popular shows, Copacabana in October and The Music Man in Spring 2016. Returning to tonight’s performance, Rodgers and Hammerstein were responsible for numerous shows, five of which were outstanding Broadway successes. Arguably, The Sound of Music was their greatest success, but indisputably it was their last success, for Oscar Hammerstein died nine months after its premiere. We are privileged to present this great musical to you tonight. We do hope that you will enjoy it, as we ask you to let yourselves be transported to Salzburg and the neighbouring Austrian mountains, where the hills are alive with The Sound of Music. 2 A


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Director ~ Katie Nye K atie has made numerous appearances on stage for Abingdon Operatic Society over the course of 20 years, most recently as Maggie Jones in 42nd Street, and before that as Ernestina Money in Hello Dolly! and Erma in Anything Goes. Elsewhere, she has appeared in musicals, plays and reviews, including the title role in Daisy Pulls It Off. Previously, she has directed the Society in My Fair Lady, The Mikado and Ruddigore. She has found it enormous fun to direct our two teams of talented children in The Sound of Music and would like to thank their parents for lending them to us. They have created two unique families von Trapp. As further relaxation from her professional life, she is learning to play the harp, and exercises her “green fingers” in the garden too, the latter having nothing to do with another of her roles for the Society as the Wicked Witch of the West. Katie says the following about directing The Sound of Music. “It has been a privilege for me to direct the Society in this production and also something of a responsibility. I am conscious of how much this show is loved by everyone and so it needs to be consistent with expectations. Devotees of the film who may not know the stage version will see differences, but we have followed the original stage show almost exactly; you will notice that ‘My Favourite Things’ is sung by Maria and the Mother Abbess, and ‘The Lonely Goatherd’ is sung in Maria’s bedroom during the thunderstorm. We have had permission to add ‘Something Good’ for Maria and the Captain, which was not in the original score and I’m delighted with this as it is one of my favourites. The Sound of Music has everything to entertain: it’s a family’s story, it’s a love story, it has gentle humour, it has a final adventure to escape evil, it has a deep conviction that one should seek one’s own path in life and it’s all wrapped up in some wonderful music. As a complete show it is beautifully crafted. You mess about with all that at your peril.” 3


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Musical Director ~ John Nye ohn grew up in West London, and his musical education took place at the Royal College of Music. Singing, he has enjoyed opportunities to take roles as diverse as Zeus in Orpheus in the Underworld, Pilate in Bach's St. John Passion, and Rudolph Reisenweber, the head waiter, in Hello Dolly! When not listening to or playing music, coaching rowing or refereeing rugby, he teaches and examines Mathematics. For relaxation, he enjoys running, and supporting Brentford Football Club. This, his ninth AOS show as Musical Director, is unique for two reasons; it is the first for which he has been the MD and Katie has directed, and second, The Sound of Music has always had huge personal significance for him. He and Katie have three grown up children, all of whom have made substantial contributions, both on and off stage, to Abingdon Operatic Society. J Choreographer ~ Tara Hunter T ara has been a member of Abingdon Operatic Society for the last four years, and she’s delighted to have this first chance at choreographing a show (which she feels is an amazing opportunity). Tara studied dance between the ages of 3-16 and stopped to pursue a career in hairdressing. This is Tara’s first time off-stage since joining AOS and she certainly found it very challenging not being able to join in during rehearsals. Our regular audience will have seen Tara most recently playing Charity in our last production, Sweet Charity. She also played Ethel in 42nd Street and a Follies Girl in Crazy For You in 2012. Tara tells us that it’s been great fun working with two great teams of children and a super chorus and principals in The Sound of Music, but she can’t wait to get back on the stage for Copacabana. She hopes you enjoy the show tonight. 4


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The Sound of Music ~ A Synopsis T he final collaboration between Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, The Sound of Music, has become a show beloved around the world. Based on the true story of the von Trapp Family Singers, this play captures a personal tale of growth and hope amidst the horror of the rise of Nazi Germany. The Sound of Music tells the tale of young postulant, Maria Rainer, whose free When the Nazis show up at spirit has trouble fitting into their door to take Captain the rules and regulations of von Trapp away, it is a Nonnberg Abbey in family singing engagement Salzburg. Commissioned by (cunningly arranged by their the Mother Abbess to serve friend Max) that buys the as the governess for seven family time to make their motherless children, Maria narrow escape. Their transforms the von Trapp Austrian sympathies compel family home from a place of Maria, the Captain and the dour rules and regulations children to flee over the to one filled with joy, with mountains of Switzerland to The real Maria as a young woman laughter and with music. In safety, taking the words of the process, Maria wins the the Mother Abbess to heart: hearts of all seven children and their “Climb Ev’ry Mountain… till you find widower father, Captain von Trapp. your dream.” With the Mother Abbess’s blessing, and to the children’s delight, Maria follows her heart and she and the Captain marry. However, upon returning home from their honeymoon, Maria and the Captain learn that their beloved Austria has been taken over by the Nazis and the retired Captain is asked to report for immediate service in the Nazi Navy. National Operatic and Dramatic Association A bingdon Operatic Society is very proud to be a member of the National Operatic and Dramatic Association. NODA’s vision is that amateur theatre should be successful and sustainable, providing a range of opportunities for people to develop their skills and enjoy taking part, at all levels. They support the education and information needs of individuals and groups, contributing greatly to the continued success of amateur theatre in the UK. Rene Macdonald I t is with sadness that we record Rene’s death on 12th March 2015 She was a devoted member of the Society performing between 1980 and 2001, and serving on the committee as Membership Secretary until 2002. To honour her extraordinary contribution to the Society, she was elected a Life Member in 2002. We extend our sympathy to her daughter Irene and to all her family. 5


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Q&A W here, when and why did you first get involved in musical theatre? My family took me to see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in Edinburgh when I was very young and I was completely enthralled by it – to the extent that I was practically hanging over the balcony reaching out for Philip Schofield (who played Joseph) when he rose up in his dreamcoat at the finale! Then at fifteen I auditioned for and was accepted into the National Youth Maria Kate Brock Music Theatre (NYMT) – and that’s when the love affair really began. This gave me the chance to work with experienced practitioners in professional theatres across the country, and although I decided early on I would not pursue musical theatre professionally, NYMT made me never want to stop learning. What shows and parts have you done with AOS? I played the ingénue Peggy Sawyer in 42nd Street and then Charity’s cynical, sassy friend Nickie in Sweet Charity – it was quite a contrast! I loved performing the title song and the tap in 42nd Street, and singing iconic songs Kate Brock burst onto the AOS scene in 2014’s 42nd Street and has impressed us all with her hard work and determination to get the most from every part she’s played. We thought you’d like to learn more about her than the usual few lines can tell.


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like ‘Hey, Big Spender’ in Sweet Charity. Do you have a favourite show? You mean apart from this one? Overall, it has to be Les Misérables – epic, historical, and French! I have cherished memories of playing Fantine in the school version when I was 17, but be warned, I can actually sing the entire score off by heart, including all the men’s parts and one-liners! Turning to The Sound of Music, do you think Maria is a difficult part to play? It’s difficult in terms of the weight of expectation, because Julie Andrews’ interpretation is so famous (and fantastic). You need stamina too – Maria is never off-stage for long. But it’s such uplifting music to sing, and Maria is such a joyful character. I feel privileged to have been given the chance to play her. Has working with two groups of children been complicated? No – it meant I could practise everything twice! The children have been delightful – focused and enthusiastic right from the beginning, and we’ve laughed a lot too. Do you have a favourite song in the show? Tough call – I love all Maria’s numbers. So I’ll go with ‘Climb Ev’ry Mountain’ – such an anthem and one of the few I have the pleasure of listening to. Do you learn a part quickly or struggle with lines? I usually get a feel for both script and music fairly quickly, but it can sometimes be a slog to get completely off-book. Mind you, a few years ago I played Daisy in Daisy Pulls It Off. She practically talks non-stop in jolly hockey sticks syntax for the entire show. No line-learning has ever seemed quite as challenging after that! Do you enjoy show week itself? Yes, tremendously, despite nerves. I love the feeling of camaraderie both onstage and backstage – I have made some really good friends in this Society. And singing every night with an orchestra is just wonderful. How do you deal with nerves before you go on? Breathing, stretches and saying a little prayer! And I drink LOTS of water – I am usually responsible for the enormous queue outside the backstage loo! There’s always that moment when you stand in the wings trembling and think: why do I put myself through this? But I’ve come to realise that nerves are part of the process: sometimes, life begins at the end of your comfort zone. Is it a relief or a let-down when show week ends? Both. It’s a bittersweet feeling, coming to the end of a show – reality is momentarily suspended and then it’s back home to the inevitability of an overflowing washing basket. But then you look forward to seeing everyone again at the next show’s talk-in. What’s next for you? Hopefully there’ll be the chance to do some dancing in AOS’s next show Copacabana. And I should probably do some of that washing. Is there a part you’ve always wanted to play but haven’t yet? I’ve always fancied having a go at Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar. And – moving into the realms of fantasy for a moment – I would love to defy gravity as Elphaba in Wicked. 7


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Principal Cast Maria Rainer The Mother Abbess Sister Berthe Sister Margaretta Sister Sophia Captain Georg von Trapp Franz, the Butler Frau Schmidt, the Housekeeper Rolf Gruber Elsa Schraeder Max Detweiler Herr Zeller Admiral von Schreiber Kate Brock Ann Turton Lorna Stevenson-Walker Jenna Elliott Lynne Winter Duncan Blagrove Simon Blainey Barbara Denton Paul Bruce Sophie Ruggiero Rob Bertwistle Chris Turton Phil Hughes CHILDREN ‘RAINDROPS’ Liesl Friedrich Louisa Kurt Brigitta Marta Gretl Olivia Baird Lewis Hinds Rosie Toolin Jack Denton Neela Nee Harley Edwards Emily Vines CHILDREN ‘ROSES’ Liesl Friedrich Louisa Kurt Brigitta Marta Gretl Hannah Dray Patrick Cole Holly Barrett Toby Littlejohn Georgia Knowlden Annie Roberts Lily-May Pullen-Campbell CHORUS Alice Aldous, Alistair Ballard-Martin, Kat Ballard-Martin, Anne Blagrove, Beverley Burnham, Kerry Callaghan, Tom Codd, Dave Cousin, Cate Davis, Kerri Dixon, Daniel Dyer, Caroline Fisher, Linda Harris, Helen Hawkins, James Hellem, Tina Hood-Liles, Laura Huang, Sarah Hunt, Jane Maggs, Stephanie Nash, Rebecca Peberdy, Jo Pickering, Kevin Pope, Amanda Robinson, Jen Skarp, Joy Skeels, Sue Smith, Debbie Wilde, James White, Nigel Winter THE ORCHESTRA Violins Mariette Richter (Leader) Jayne Dimmick Alison Cutting Hugh Cutting Marisa Miller Viola Jacqui Mackenzie ‘Cello Andrea Williams Bass Graeme Hollingdale Piccolo, Flute Lorna Edwards Oboe Joanna Rhind-Tutt 8 Clarinet Bassoon Horn Trumpet Trombone Guitar Percussion Ian Adlington Glyn Williams Ingrid Turner Luke Scott Rob Cooper Mark Denton Malcolm Gunningham Paul Owen Chris Fletcher-Campbell Robert MacLennan


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Scenes and Musical Numbers ACT ONE Scene 1: Nonnberg Abbey Chapel ‘Preludium’ - The Nuns Scene 2: Mountainside near the Abbey ‘The Sound of Music’ - Maria Scene 3: The office of the Mother Abbess The next morning ‘Maria’ - The Mother Abbess, Sister Berthe, Sister Sophia, Sister Margaretta ‘My Favorite Things’ - Maria, the Mother Abbess Scene 4: A corridor in the Abbey ‘ My Favorite Things’ (Reprise) - Maria Scene 5: The living room of the Trapp villa That afternoon ‘Do-Re-Mi’ - Maria, the Children Scene 6: Outside the Trapp villa That evening ‘Sixteen Going on Seventeen’ - Rolf, Liesl Scene 7: Maria’s bedroom Later that evening ‘The Lonely Goatherd’ - Maria, the Children Scene 8: A hallway in the Trapp villa ‘The Lonely Goatherd’ (Reprise) - Gretl Scene 9: The Terrace of the Trapp villa Six weeks later ‘How Can Love Survive?’ - Elsa, Max ‘The Sound of Music’ - The Children, the Captain, Maria Scene 10: A hallway in the Trapp villa One week later Scene 11: The living room The same evening ‘So Long, Farewell’ - The Children Scene 12: A corridor in the Abbey ‘Morning Hymn’ - The Nuns Scene 13: The office of the Mother Abbess Three days later ‘Climb Ev’ry Mountain’ - The Mother Abbess ACT TWO Entr'acte Scene 1: The terrace The same day ‘My Favorite Things’ (Reprise) – The Children, Maria ‘No Way to Stop It’ - Elsa, Max, The Captain ‘Something Good’ - Maria, The Captain Scene 2: A corridor in the Abbey Two weeks later Scene 3: The office of the Mother Abbess and an ante-chapel in the Abbey Immediately following ‘Gaudeamus Domino’ - The Nuns Scene 4: The Abbey Chapel ‘Maria’ (Reprise) - The Nuns ‘Confitemini Domino’ - Company Scene 5: The living room One month later ‘Sixteen Going on Seventeen’ (Reprise) Rolf, Maria, Liesl Scene 6: The concert hall Two days later ‘Do-Re-Mi’ (Reprise) - The Family ‘Edelweiss’ - The Captain, Company ‘So Long, Farewell’ (Reprise) - The Family Scene 7: The garden of Nonnberg Abbey That night ‘Climb Ev'ry Mountain’ - The Mother Abbess, Company 9


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Captain von Trapp ~ Duncan Blagrove Duncan is normally laying the boards as a carpenter and builder as opposed to treading them! He is thrilled to be playing such an iconic role as Captain von Trapp. Duncan has been performing with AOS for the last 19 years, being involved in 13 productions. Notable roles include Bobby (Crazy for You), Cornelius Hackle (Hello, Dolly!) and Giuseppe (The Gondoliers). He started on the amateur stage at the age of 13 playing the title role in Bugsy Malone and has since played many principal roles with both AOS, Oxford Operatic Society, Abingdon Drama Club and BMH Productions. Previous roles include Judas (Jesus Christ Superstar), Alfie Doolittle (My Fair Lady), Andy (42nd Street), Dauphin (Henry V), Strephon (Iolanthe), Angelo (Measure for Measure). Duncan is delighted to be directing AOS’s upcoming production of The Music Man in Spring 2016! Mother Abbess ~ Ann Turton Having acted as Prompt for the past six productions, Ann is very happy to be stepping “back onto the boards” for this show. The role of the Mother Abbess could not be in greater contrast - both in style and costume! - to that of the incomparable Dolly Levi in Hello Dolly! – Ann’s favourite and last major role for the company. In the Society’s production of The Sound of Music in 1983, Ann played the Baroness, singing two of the lesser known songs (not included in the film version) and she is delighted to be flexing her vocal chords this time with one of the most rousing numbers in the score. 10


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Elsa Schraeder ~ Sophie Ruggiero The Sound of Music is Sophie’s fourth show with AOS, having appeared as Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls, Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes and a lunatic in Sweeney Todd. The two songs Elsa Schraeder sings do not feature in the acclaimed Julie Andrews film that she so adored as a child, but Sophie loves them for their theatricality and frivolity and hopes you will too. Sophie is also a member of Oxford Operatic Society and played Lady Thiang in The King and I and cameos in Thoroughly Modern Millie, Chess and The Gondoliers. She is also a regular performer with West Oxford Pantomime Society and most recently was seen sporting leather trousers and a chest wig as Le Beuf in Beauty and the Beast. Sophie took a BA in Film and Theatre Studies at the University of Reading where she appeared in numerous plays. Max Detweiler ~ Rob Bertwistle The Sound of Music is a show that Rob has wanted to take part in for a long time. The part of Max gives Rob the chance to show that he can do ‘posh’ as well as ‘American’, as most of the parts he is lucky enough to get require an American accent! The rehearsals have been fun and as there are two teams of children he’s had to do everything twice, but still found learning the lines a challenge. Katie has been very patient! Recently Rob volunteered to take over as the NODA Representative for the area, which requires him to write reviews on amateur productions in the Oxfordshire area. He hopes you enjoy the show and will give this performance the ‘thumbs up’! 11


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Liesl (L) Hannah Dray Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday night (R) Olivia Baird Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday matinee Friedrich (L) Patrick Cole Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday night (R) Lewis Hinds Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday matinee Louisa (L) Holly Barrett Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday night (R) Rosie Toolin Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday matinee


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Kurt (L) Toby Littlejohn Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday night (R) Jack Denton Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday matinee Brigitta (L) Georgia Knowlden Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday night (R) Neela Nee Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday matinee Marta (L) Annie Roberts Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday night (R) Harley Edwards Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday matinee Gretl (L) Lily-May Pullen-Campbell Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday night (R) Emily Vines Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday matinee



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